The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Thursday, February 21, approved air travel on Delhi-Srinagar, Srinagar-Delhi, Jammu-Srinagar and Srinagar-Jammu routes for all jawans of the CRPF and other paramilitary forces deployed in the Kashmir Valley. The decision came days after a deadly attack on a CRPF convoy on the Srinagar-Jammu highway.
The facility of air travel has been extended to personnel who go on or return from leave.
"This facility is in addition to the existing air courier services for CAPFs that have been steadily extended in all sectors by the MHA to help the jawans cut down on travel time during their journey to and fro from home on leave," read the order from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The decision is going to benefit around 780,000 personnel of the CAPFs in the ranks of constable, head constable and assistant sub inspector, who were otherwise not eligible to travel by air previously.
The decision was conveyed to the chiefs of various paramilitary forces including the BSF, CRPF, CISF, ITBP and SSB by the Home Ministry and has come into immediate effect, according to a letter.
The big rule change comes following Pulwama terror attack on February 14 in which 40 CRPF jawans were martyred. The terrorists targeted a CRPF convoy, which was moving from Jammu to Srinagar and had over 70 vehicles and more than 2,500 personnel.
A senior official said jawans and sub-officers, the ranks who were killed in the deadly attack in Pulwama, will now be able to book tickets in commercial flights and claim reimbursement from their organisation or force.
The suicide attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama took place on February 14, in which over 40 CRPF personnel lost their lives and scores of others were injured. Since then, India has slammed Pakistan for providing a safe haven to terrorists and has also taken strategic and diplomatic measures to globally isolate the neighbour.
(Inputs from agencies)